By Mike Pilosof
Trinidad, CO-After an injury-plagued 2016, the Broncbusters looked to right the ship during their first road trip of the new campaign.
And despite a split in their first two games, mission definitely accomplished.
Garden City won their season opener over Trinidad State 9-1 before dropping the finale 12-10 Saturday afternoon at Trojan Field.
In game one, Garden City (1-1) used a seven-run fourth inning where they sent 11 players to the plate. It started with a Hannah Adams double. Leisha Nakagawa drove her in with a double to left field, followed by a Bailee Muxlow-Volk's run-scoring single that made it 4-1. Later in the inning, Shaycin Koehn crossed home plate on an error by Olivia Muniz to put the Broncbusters on top 5-1. That was all the lead up for Erica Vessels, who changed the game with one swing of the bat.
With the bases loaded and an 0-2 count, the freshman from Choctaw, OK delivered a towering shot that landed beyond the fence in right field for a 9-1 advantage.
Desiree Perea was sensational in the circle, scattering four hits over five innings while yielding one run when Muniz slapped a two-out, RBI Single that gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead in the first.
In the finale, the Broncbusters broke open a 1-1 game in the third, thanks in large part to Micaela Martinez's grand slam that put Garden City in front 6-1.
Trinidad State (1-1) answered in the bottom half when Isabella Navarro led off the inning with a solo shot to center before tacking on three more runs to cut the Garden City lead to 6-4. Then in the fourth, Trinidad State plated five, capped off with Katie Glaze's two-run blast that put the Trojans up 9-6.
Garden City fought their way back and tied the game 9-9 in the top of the sixth on Angel Jiminez's RBI single.
After the Trojans jumped back on top with a run in the bottom half of the sixth, the Broncbusters knotted the score again when Nicole Milford ripped a two-out, RBI double that scored Martinez in the top of the seventh.
That celebration was short lived in the final frame when Muniz ended the game with one swing of the bat, connecting on a two-run, walk-off homer, giving the Trojans a two-run victory.
Garden City used three pitchers in game two. Samantha Akers threw 95 pitches over four innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits while walking three and fanning three. Haleigh Johnson pitched 1.1 innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Marissa Montiel tossed .1 in relief, allowing one earned run.
For Trinidad State, Glaze went 4.2 innings, yielding six runs on eight hits. She struck out three.
Garden City returns to action on Thursday at Hutchinson.